RMIT to launch Trades Innovation Centre
RMIT will be launching its Trades Innovation Centre, a technology-backed facility that will support a training pipeline for northern corridor population growth and infrastructure investment.
Located at RMIT’s Bundoora East campus, students will benefit from simulations, sector-leading equipment and teaching practices and programs that integrate job-ready and future-ready industry skills. It will also provide an opportunity for industry to use the facility to test, learn, trial and demonstrate and access RMIT’s expertise to solve real-world problems.
“Victoria is undergoing a significant transformation marked by major infrastructure investment, a shift to a clean economy and evolving occupational requirements. There is a need for hundreds of thousands of additional construction workers in the next five years to meet evolving industry workforce requirements and government initiatives such as the Victorian Big Build,” RMIT deputy vice-chancellor, vocational education and vice-president Mish Eastman says.
“In addition to meeting shortages in the workforce, the sector also needs to adopt technology innovation to improve productivity.”
By 2025 it is projected that our state will need more than another 4,000 electricians, 2,400 plumbers and 500 refrigeration mechanics. The Trades Innovation Centre will enable RMIT to contribute to meeting forecasted demand over the next three to five years, in line with the Victorian Government Skills Plan and Clean Economy Workforce Skills requirements.
The building itself will be a learning experience, with its inner workings on display (such as exposed sanitary and water tanks) and access to live technology (such as solar panels). Roof access and other outdoor zones will also be available for students.
The centre will have a 1,700m2 footprint that includes a 2.5m deep sand pit, double height ceilings throughout the workshop and a three-story training rig that simulates a building during construction. A modular design will allow for multi-use spaces and zones that can expand and contract as needed.
Being split into ‘trade zones’, students of the centre will learn hands-on skills within view of other trades, leading to a deeper understanding of different trades and how they intersect and complement. Students will learn on simulated work sites (frames, subfloors and roof structures) using the latest tools and equipment, giving students a sense of what it’s like to work on a real construction site, in a safe and supported environment.
Roll-in mobile benches with connection to virtual, augmented and mixed reality programs will allow RMIT students to safely develop skills before engaging in ‘live’ situations, such as welding. Technology will be integrated not just into what trades students learn, but how.
Hybrid and online teaching will be available where learning does not have to be delivered face-to-face. This will improve the flexibility of trades courses, promoting a blended learning experience that maximises the on-campus practical skills building.
The location will also bring together trades education and the existing pre-apprenticeship training at Bundoora East and the Skills and Jobs Centre at Bundoora West.